February is national grapefruit month--perfect timing since citrus fruit is in season during the cold winter months! Let's celebrate!
Have you ever wondered why a grapefruit is called a "grape" fruit? Yes, it's a fruit, but it's so much bigger than a grape. It all goes back to the land and the growers. When the fruit is at its peak and ready to be picked from the tree it tends to hang out together like a cluster of grapes, hence grapefruit.
Grapefruits are one of the power houses within the tropical fruit family. They are actually a natural cross-fertilization of a pomelo and a sweet orange. Pomelos are more pear shaped and larger. Grapefruits can be found with yellow, pink or red pulp, but I reach for the sweeter, red-pulp ("ruby") variety when I want to peel it and eat it just like an orange and the yellow pulp variety when I am going to bake it topped with honey and chopped pistachios.
One of my fondest memories of my grandmother was having breakfast with her at our farmhouse. She loved routine meals, and breakfast to her was half a cold grapefruit in a bowl. I can see her now scooping out the fruit with her serrated grapefruit spoon. I am sure she would be surprised with my "baking" recipe but would love it just as much as I do. It is one of my new favorite recipes. I have had fun trying different combinations. Check out your pantry, I'm sure you have a couple of the following to make your own baked grapefruit combination.
Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she created the grapefruit. The thick outer peel offers protection and retains the quality of the fruit longer than most of its cousins. The peel, which can be zested for use in salads or over seafood dishes, offers a refreshing finish. The fruit can be segmented and used in salads or pureed and made into sorbets or Italian ice. (Don't know how to segment out the fruit? Watch my video!)
Also check at my recipe for Grapefruit Salad that can be eaten as a side dish--or add a couple of seared scallops and, presto, dinner. Not only will you add some tropical flavor to your dishes your body will love you for the additional vitamin C.
Pick the best! If you can't visit a citrus grove and the local market is your shopping ground, look for grapefruits that are heavy and firm with shiny skin. At home, store on the countertop away from the sunlight between 55- 65 degrees. At room temperature, they will last up to 15 days and up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
What is your favorite way to eat a grapefruit?
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Like this recipe? Then you'll love "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." Try the Grilled Shrimp with Jicama-Grapefruit Slaw (page 119) Grapefruit-Pear Salad with Fennel (page 124), only available in "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight."